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The Common Law in Two VoicesLanguage, Law, and the Postcolonial Dilemma in Hong Kong$
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Kwai Hang Ng

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804761642

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804761642.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM STANFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Stanford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in SSO for personal use.date: 23 October 2019

Juridical Formalism and the Mechanism of Legal Rearticulation

Juridical Formalism and the Mechanism of Legal Rearticulation

Chapter:
(p.33) Chapter 2 Juridical Formalism and the Mechanism of Legal Rearticulation
Source:
The Common Law in Two Voices
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804761642.003.0002

This chapter develops the theoretical framework, examining the meaning of the term juridical formalism and why language plays a pivotal role in its implementation. Juridical formalism is defined as courtroom practices that transform everyday disputes into legal problems. To see how legal rationality is worked out in a common law system, the discussion looks at the ways that disputes are adjudicated through the making and remaking of facts in the courtroom. It also reviews the institutionalized linguistic practices that guide and discipline interactions in the courtroom. The use of Cantonese brings about new practices that have not been considered in the standard repertoire of a trial but that have their roots in the everyday life of Hong Kong.

Keywords:   rationality, juridical formalism, courtroom practices, common law, Cantonese

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